Britain's new chancellor Philip Hammond has said he can “definitely” envision a free trade deal with China once the UK has left the European Union.
After a meeting for G20 ministers, Hammond told the BBC: “The mood music that I have heard here is very much that this will mean more opportunity for countries like China that are outside the European Union to do business with Britain. And as Britain leaves the European Union and is not bound by the rules of the European Union, perhaps it will be easier to do deals with Britain in the future.”
Hammond added that he wanted the UK’s links with China to grow closer.
"We already have a strategic partnership with China,” he said. "We have hugely increased our trade with China, investment both by British companies into China and by Chinese entities into the UK. That's about as far as we can go while we are members of the European Union. But once we are out of the European Union then I have no doubt on both sides we will want to cement that relationship into a firmer structure in a bilateral way that's appropriate. That's something we will have to explore in the future."
According to the BBC, Chinese state media reported earlier in the month that the Chinese Ministry of Commerce wants to do a UK free trade deal.
- Mr B’s pledges support for translated fiction post-Brexit
- Hancock: 'creative industries central to post-Brexit future'
- Post-Brexit Britain 'may lose out', warn international bosses
- Rebuck urges May to give post-Brexit reassurance to creative industries
- PA pushes for stronger UK stance against Amazon post-Brexit